Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff is hosting Jewish leaders at the White House Wednesday to address efforts to combat hate crimes following a series of antisemitic tropes by American public figures.
Emhoff, the spouse of Vice President Kamala Harris, is the first Jewish person to be married to the number two official in the executive branch and has been outspoken about attacks on people of the Jewish faith, which he describes as an “epidemic of hate.”
“Let me be clear: words matter. People are no longer saying the quiet parts out loud, they are screaming them,” Emhoff is expected to say in his remarks, according to excerpts released by the White House.
The roundtable discussion led by Emhoff follows a surge of anti-Jewish sentiments, including from NBA star Kyrie Irving who posted a link to a film based on antisemitic disinformation on his social media, and American rapper Ye formerly known as Kanye West who in a recent interview praised Adolf Hitler and said he “loved Nazis.”
Ye recently attended a dinner hosted by Donald Trump at the former president’s home in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, that included Nick Fuentes, a Holocaust-denying white supremacist.
According to researchers from the Center for Countering Digital Hate, Anti-Defamation League and other groups, antisemitic and racist slurs have also skyrocketed on Twitter in the weeks since Elon Musk acquired the social media platform and granted “amnesty” to suspended accounts, including those that have been banned for spouting hate speech.
“We cannot normalize this,” Emhoff will say, according to White House excerpts. “We all have an obligation to condemn these vile acts. We must not stay silent. There is no either/or. There are no two sides. Everyone must be against this.”
The meeting, scheduled for 11 a.m. ET, will include participants from Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox Jewish organizations and will be attended by Ambassador Susan Rice, White House domestic policy adviser; Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt, special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism; and Keisha Lance Bottoms, senior adviser to the president for public engagement.